Animal Safety and Your Cat! Three Reasons A Catio May Be In Your Future.
Outdoor cat versus Indoor cat is an age old argument. I had a very terse discussion with one of my son’s friends after the kitten he purchased was old enough to be let outside to wander the neighborhood alone. He straight out told me that he would rather his cat, Sterling, have a short but happy life living outdoors then have a long, safe life living indoors with him. I would love to give you my response to this statement but this is a family blog so I won’t. Needless to say, I believe that this is a selfish attitude for this cat owner. Let me share some facts with you about Indoor versus Outdoor cats.
The first and most predominate fact is the cat’s lifespan. Your indoor cat, on average, lives 15 – 18 years. The outdoor cats lifespan is on average 3 – 5 years of age. That is a twelve year difference! How would you feel if someone told you that you could add ten years to your life by simply living indoors away from things that are certain to kill you?
Indoors cats lifespans are so much longer because they the don’t have the intense dangers in their lives that are faced by their outdoor counter parts. An indoor cat will never have to face down a hungry coyote or fox. An indoor cat will never be caught up in the talons of an owl or falcon. An indoor cat will never play chicken with an oncoming car or motorcycle. An indoor cat will (hopefully) never have to experience a freezing snow storm or scorching summer heat. An indoor cat never has to wonder when her next meal is or where she can find fresh water. These are all dangers that an outdoor cat can expect to come across in his short lifespan. Yes, that really sounds like a happy life to me!
The second fact that I want to share is that indoor cats are more likely to get veterinarian care when needed. Loving cat owners will care for their sick animal as well as get it to the vet on a regular basis for preventive care. Indoor cats are also more likely to be spayed or neutered. Having a cat that is “fixed” can play a huge role in your cat’s health later in their life by removing the risk of ovarian or testicular cancer. (Plus they won’t be creating even more outdoor cats.)
Now I will admit that the down side of a cat living indoors versus outdoors is the issue of obesity. Outdoor cats obviously have the advantage here because they can jump, climb, run and enjoy nature easier then an indoor cat. Exercising an indoor cat can be a bit difficult. But what if you could give your indoor cat a similar outdoor experience but keep them safe and secure?
I recently found a unique company called Catio Spaces. They design DIY plans to help you build a Catio for your favorite feline friend. You might be asking yourself “What the heck is a Catio?”. Great question! A Catio is a patio space for your cat — a cat-patio! Get it? Oh, never mind…
You might be asking yourself, “Why in the world would I need a cat patio?” Another good question! Let me share three good reasons:
- Protecting your cat. With a Catio Spaces cat enclosure your cat will be safe from predatory animals, cars & trucks, as well as exposure to diseases or injury.
- Give your cat a healthy lifestyle that includes outdoor activity. They can watch birds and squirrels, get fresh air, exercise and sunbathe to their heart’s content.
- You can have peace of mind knowing where your cat is and that he is safe and protected in his own environment.
When we choose to bring an animal into our home, whether it is a cat, a dog, a fish or a hamster it is our responsibility to care for the animal. Part of caring for an animal is making sure that they are safe and away from danger that could harm them. October is officially National Animal Safety and Prevention Month, but when you are a pet owner, every month is for animal safety and prevention. Check out Catio Spaces for their DIY cat enclosure plans. They donate 10% of all DIY patio plans purchased to an animal welfare organization. Additionally, Catio Spaces made a $1,000 contribution to The Humane Society of the United States Disaster Relief Fund for urgent needs in the aftermath of recent hurricanes.
We (meaning my husband 🙂 with supervision from me) will be building our own Catio in the Spring for our two cats Sophie and Stanley. I will keep you posted on that when we start the project. Remember to love your pets like they are family! Have a great October!!